Notices

a week or a few days in Switzerland?

Old Jun 8th, 2006, 07:03 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 224
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
a week or a few days in Switzerland?

Forgive me, in advance, for my extreme brevity--I don't mean a harsh tone but am rushed for input.

My husband and I live in Prague and are closing a three week visit with his family (which will take us throughout various parts of the continent) in Geneva on July 1st.

We have never before spent any real time in Switzerland, so my husband would like to explore a bit there before we return to CZ.

We do have some friends in Zurich that we plan to see for a few days, but other than that, we have no plans and very little time to research (since the fam comes tomorrow and I'm prepping for the first part of their visit).

Things we enjoy: anything in the outdoors (hiking, watersports, ect.), exploring the history, museums if they cannot be missed (ie Prado or Louvre), basic observation of people/culture.

Does anyone have ideas about how long we should stay (a few days or full week) or how we should split up our time?

Thank you for your help, in advance. My past experiences on this board help me know I am in good hands here; I hope I have given you enough info about us and the situation to help you help me!


MacPrague is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 07:17 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 97
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mac -
I'd go for the week. Couple days in Zurich then out to the Bernese Oberland or other good spot in the Alps. Seems to me just a few days is not enough, especially if you like out-doorsy stuff. Some people do nothing but hike through the Alps for an entire summer. And then ski for the entire winter. Some people find Switzerland either boring, or cold, but I love the place. I found it relaxing, beautiful, unique and orderly.
GalavantingReprobate is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 07:28 AM
  #3  
amaclise
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I hiked in the Appenzell region which was absolutely amazing. I ever took so many pictures in my life. It was a fairly easy day trip out of Zurich as I recall, but you could definitely stay longer.

I have also heard that the Jungfrau region is very special which I believe Galavanting referred to also.

Also loved Lake Lucerne.

Not to send you elsewhere, but check out Rick Steves website, He has done several good travel programs on Switzerland including reseaonable places to stay.

I agree a week would be great!
 
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 08:01 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was on a bus tour of Switzerland for 2 weeks, and still feel I've only scratched the surfice. For me, it would be the longer the better.

Of course the travel is not cheap, lodging and food, so I'd say: go for as long as you can afford financially.
FainaAgain is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 08:07 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,514
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you enjoy hiking and the outdoors, even a week is not enough. We go for two weeks at a time and I start planning the next visit as soon as we gete home.

I suggest you spend a few days in Zürich with your friends, taking their recommendations on museums, restaurants, lake excursions, etc. Then choose a spot in the mountains, based on recommendations you will get here, and spend at least four days hiking and enjoying the high alpine beauty.

Regions that are certain to be recommended are the Berner Oberland (Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Mürren, etc.); the Engadine (Pontresina, Sils Maria, Scuol, Zerez); the Valais (Zermatt and the Matterhorn region, Saas Fee, Bettmeralp); and Saanenland/Simmental area (Gstaad, Chateau d'Oex).

Your most difficult task will be choose among them. There are a number of thread going here about these areas right now---search under "Grindelwald", "Wengen", "Gstaad", "Engadine", etc. and you will find lots of information. And for more information, here are liinks to two places I love, that are not often mentioned here:
www.oeschinensee.ch
http://www.bettmeralp.ch/e/sommer/

Will this be just you and your husband for this part of the trip?
enzian is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 08:29 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,585
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Stay as long as you can and avoid the big cities. Switzerland is the most beautiful place in the world, all things considered.
LLindaC is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 08:34 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 224
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is why I love Fodor-ites! You guys are such a tremendous source of great information--it's amazing.

I will keep checking back over the next day or so (must purchase tickets before the fam comes tomorrow).

Yes, enzian, this part of the trip will just be with my husband. I can't wait to explore the other threads you suggested. (and the Rick Steves you suggested, amaclise.

I must say, originally, when DH suggested that we stay the week, I was completely overwhelmed. Now, a week in the outdoors sounds like a welcome break from the metropolitan travel that will precede it!

Thank you so much, and keep the suggestions coming! I really, really appreciate your help!--MP
MacPrague is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 09:19 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,514
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi again---Rick Steves' website will give you good information on a specific area of the Berner Oberland, mainly Gimmelwald and Mürren, as well as a good list of activities in the area.

If you are anything like me, I will choose to go somewhere based on photos I have seen of the place. Here is a photo of the view looking down from Mürren into the upper end of the Lauterbrunnen valley. Gimmelwald is on the far left of the photo:
http://topspin.smugmug.com/gallery/885501/8/44096120
Looking directly across from Mürren (and "der Schönste Tennisplatz der Welt"):
http://topspin.smugmug.com/gallery/885501/9
And one of my favorite hikes in the Bettmeralp area:
http://topspin.smugmug.com/gallery/885501/3/42009264

I and others will be happy to help with lodging recommendations once you decide where you'd like to go.
enzian is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 09:43 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 600
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you nwant a boat trip on Lake Zurich go right to the other end of the lake and explore Rapperswill, I went by boat from there to Zurich last September, it looks a very pretty town the tourist information office is between the station and the landing stage. You could try one way by train and the other by boat, boat takes about two hours
tipsygus is online now  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 11:17 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,585
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mac, we went to Wengen last year and loved it. This year, we're doing a village to village hike in the Val D'Anniviers. The tourism board put it together for us. You might enjoy doing this, they tote your luggage, give you maps and provide food/lodging for one price. I think it's reasonable.
http://www.chandolin.ch/index.cfm?Pa...Id=6&Langue=en
LLindaC is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 01:03 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 224
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks again for all of your input! It's getting late here, but I will check again in the morning for any new posts.

Just FYI, since you've all been so helpful so far: I started another thread about transportation in some of the areas you've mentioned.

We would prefer not to rent a car, so input (here or on the other thread) about trains v. cars v. other options would be great.

Thank you so much! I am really starting to look forward to this part of our holiday! --MP
MacPrague is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 01:33 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,254
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
enzian - photos 39 & 41 look like they'd be outstanding hikes. I've been to that area, but only from the top of the tram, and a walk on the top. Not close to the bottom like those were.

Do you remember exactly which hike that was? I'm heading that way this summer, and would like to put that one on my list.

Thanks!
kopp is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 01:59 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,514
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Kopp---all those photos on that page and the adjacent ones are the same hike---my daughter was camera-happy that day. The hike is in the Lonely Planet "Walking in Switzerland" book, but we take it in the opposite direction (clockwise from Bettmeralp) so we are looking at the glacier the whole way. Starting at Bettmeralp, you hike up past a small lake (Bettmersee) to the top of the ridge at Biel---this is lower on the ridge than the top of the lift station. Then follow signs to Marjelensee. The trail contours along above the glacier for several miles. There are a couple of places where you can drop down closer---one place is the Katzenlocher, and there is another to a limekiln (I forget what that is in German). But if you stay on the high trail to where it meets the valley of the Marjelensee, there is a place where you can walk over the smooth polished rocks right down to the glacier---at which point the side of it is towering over your head. This spot has changed dramatically since I was first there in 2001. Then, there was a wall of ice, about 5 stories high, with a small blue pond at the bottom. One could not approach too closely, because chunks of glacier (about the size of a car) kept breaking off and falling. Now, at least when I was there last summer, so much has broken off and melted that the little lake is completely choked with ice blocks, and the 5-story high wall of ice is all broken down. But it's still a dramatic spot. From there, return to the trail and follow it to the hut by the lake, the Aletschstube, for lunch. Great Rösti and Gulaschsuppe. And then you have 2 choices---either take the trail up and over the ridge in front of you (Talligrat) and back, or take a tunnel through that ridge---more than a kilometer long, but much easier. We've down it both ways. You arrive at a road on a bench high above the Rhone Valley, and follow that back to Bettmeralp, via Kühboden. Lots of cows there (and great milkshakes at the restaurant).

Another way to see the glacier (from above, not alongside) is to catch the lift at Kühboden up to the top of the Eggishorn---maybe this is what you did before? Or did you take a lift up from Bettmeralp and along the ridge from there?
enzian is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 03:03 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,254
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, enzian. That's just what I needed!

We've taken the tram from Fiesch up to the Bergstation Eggishorn and walked around on the rocky trail for awhile, then went into the hut for hot chocolate and apple strudel to warm ourselves. The weather was not cooperating that day (very cloudy and rainy) so we didn't stay long as there was no view. Hoping for better weather this time.
kopp is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 03:39 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,514
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
kopp---I know what you mean; the one time we went up the Eggishorn we froze! But it's too bad you missed the view---you can look up the glacier to the Jungfrau from there (and you can see the Eggishorn from the Jungfraujoch if you know where to look).

If you don't mind hiking downhill, you can visit the glacier from the Eggishorn by hiking down to the Talligrat, and down from there to Marjelensee, and then out to the glacier. But you'd miss the long traverse above the glacier, which is the best part of the hike.

If you want to do it the way I first mentioned, get off the train in Betten (about 10 or 15 minutes from Brig) and ride the big cablecar up to Bettmeralp. It's covered on most train passes if you're using one. After the hike you can sit on the patio at Hotel Panorama in Bettmeralp and have a beer. (Say Grützi to Rahel and Fredi for me.)

Have fun. . . I miss Switzerland (we're not going this summer).
enzian is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 09:53 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 224
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is such great information!

You have all convinced me--definitely staying a week!

Next step is to do some of the more detailed searches. I'll post a new thread when I'm done. (probably not today, but watch for me over the next week or two)

Thanks a TON!!!! --MP
MacPrague is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2006, 04:49 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,088
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Enzian and Kopp,

Thanks for all the Eggishorn information.
We will be staying in Kandersteg next year, and the train to Fiesch only takes 1:20. I hadn't even considered that area until I read your suggestions.
ronkala is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2006, 05:37 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,206
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
roncala,
if you stay in Kandersteg, don't leave out the Gasterntal valley. It is absolutely beautiful. You can either walk up there (it is all in all 2 h walking one way) or you can take one of the taxi-buses (you would have to reserve a place on them the day before) to the end and then go around. If you are fir enough I would suggest going up to the Lötschenpass - but it is a quite strenuous walk, with a small (well marked, crevasse-free) glacier crossing. Or you can take the train through the tunnel to Goppenstein and have a look at the Lötschental valley - it is a beautiful place as well...
altamiro is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2006, 08:24 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,514
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
roncala---I second Altamiro's suggestion of the Gasterntal. (I don't think we're hijacking here; MP said she will start a new thread with her questions). It's a pleasant walk from Kandersteg and has been our "rainy day" option on two different trips. The valley looks a bit like Yosemite---soaring cliffs on both sides, with a river meandering down the middle. But one huge difference--you are almost alone. The valley is unsettled, apart from a few rustic hotel/restaurants (where you can stop for lunch).

And if it's not a rainy day, a nice option is to rent bikes at the Kandersteg train station, and bike to the Gasterntal. The road in is restricted (only the Postbus and the few residents can use it), so it's pleasant biking (and exciting, where the road is hung on the side of a gorge above the raging river).
enzian is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2006, 04:26 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,088
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Altamiro and Enzian,

Going to the valley sounds like a good idea. We will be there two weeks, so I know we will have time for it.
ronkala is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
greg_on_the_go
Europe
14
Jul 25th, 2018 06:47 PM
Willem46
Europe
7
Jan 28th, 2008 03:08 AM
iluvs2travel
Europe
4
Sep 14th, 2005 06:39 PM
tcreath
Europe
9
Apr 7th, 2004 10:47 AM
Carol Silverman
Europe
7
Jan 12th, 2003 07:01 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO